(Belleville, IL) – St. Elizabeth’s Hospital was recently re-designated as an Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital by the Illinois Department of Public Health for three years.
St. Elizabeth’s first achieved this this designation in 2014 by implementing emergency stroke care policies and procedures to align with nationally recognized evidence based standards and criteria, like those from the American Heart/Stroke Association and Brain Attack Coalition.
“The renewal of the Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital designation signifies that St. Elizabeth’s Hospital continues to provide high-quality stroke care to our patients,” shared Amanda Ernst, BSN, RN, Stroke Coordinator for St. Elizabeth’s Teleneurology Stroke Program.
When a potential stroke patient arrives at St. Elizabeth’s, staff alerts an on-call expert for immediate consultation through telemedicine, or video conferencing. The specialized neurologist is then face-to-face with the patient, family members and Emergency Department staff in order to make an immediate diagnosis and begin advanced stroke treatment and interventions. This innovative technology allows residents from the metro east, to remain close to home, saving valuable time, when it matters most.
“It is important to catch a stroke early, but even more important to prevent strokes all together, which is why St. Elizabeth’s often educates our community about the signs and symptoms of stroke as well as what to do if symptoms present,” said Ernst. “Recognizing signs and symptoms of stroke and immediately calling 911 to be taken to an emergent stroke ready facility, like St. Elizabeth’s, can make a difference in the number of treatment options available and the overall outcome for stroke patients.”
For patients and families who are faced with managing the effects of stroke, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital offers a free stroke support group. The goal the group is to foster a better understanding of stroke recovery, rehabilitation and prevention of recurrent strokes while providing a way for stroke survivors to meet others with similar challenges.
The next meeting will be held Wednesday, August 2 at 2:00 p.m. in the Millennium Room of the hospital, located on the first floor of the Prairie Heart Institute Bldg., at 340 W. Lincoln Street, Belleville.
The upcoming session's topic is “Social Worker Services” and will be presented by David Lysakowski, MSW/LCSW, a clinical social worker from St. Elizabeth’s Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit.
St. Elizabeth’s encourages the public to learn the signs and symptoms of stroke, which include:
sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, sudden severe headache with no known cause
When symptoms present it’s important to act fast, by following the F.A.S.T. acronym:
FACE – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
ARMS – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SPEECH– Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
TIME – If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
For more information about stroke services at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, visit our web site at www.steliz.org, or for questions about the stroke support group, call 618-234-2120, ext. 1519.